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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

 

In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article gives a nice comparison between American and European car use.  It points out cultural differences as well as governmental policy differences that lead to different views on public transportation and car usage.

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 5, 2:16 PM

Roads in the US are a congested mess, especially when compared with Europe. This article discusses the interesting historical, political, economic, and cultural factors that have led to the different directions taken. The US was quicker to adopt the automobile and to build the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate the rapid expansion of the car. Europe has made political efforts, like higher tax rates, to promote alternative transportation methods which allowed their public transportation methods to expand and develop more than they have in the US.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 4:36 PM

The United States developed to be much more car dependent that the cities of Western Europe. While many European cities were already tightly developed and sprawled, a lot of development in the United States occurred after the influx of automobiles. Cheap gas mixed with more and more people depended on automobiles allowed for infrastructure to develop more spread out. Because of cars, people could travel farther than they used to in a shorter time period. People no longer had to live in the city to work in the city, so suburban neighborhoods developed. European cities were mostly developed to their maximum area, therefore roads were built mostly to connect cities, not to intersect them. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2:15 PM

Its easier for European countries to commit to cycling, walking and taking public transportation for the simple fact that their travel distance is shorter to that of the United States. A trip that can take Europeans 30 mins to travel can take Americans 45-60 mins of travel, depending where they are centrally located. I can agree with Europeans committing to using other alternatives to getting around their city versus using a car. They are more inclined to participate in physical activities, they are lowering their fuel emission, all in all, its a better decision for the environment.

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Geography in the News: Eurasia’s Boundaries

Geography in the News: Eurasia’s Boundaries | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Europe and Asia, while often considered two separate continents, both lie on the same landmass or tectonic plate, the Eurasian supercontinent. The historic and geographic story of the Eurasian boundary is intriguing."


Via Neal G. Lineback, Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I find this discussion very interesting.  How we define the boarders of the continents may not seem important but they do hold much in the way of historical and cultural meanings.  Is Europe separate from Asia or is it one super-continent?  The answer to that has many implications politically and culturally as well as historically.

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shawn Giblin's curator insight, July 15, 2013 9:42 AM

very interesting to think that Turkey is a transcontinental country, as well to find out that asia and europe are actually connected.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:14 AM

Here we can see that the continental boundary between Russia and the rest of Europe has historically been solely based on national borders. However, a large majority of Russia's population and major cities are in the western part of the country, which is closer to Europe than most Asian countries.  Because of this, Europe and Asia gained an imaginary cultural border. It only makes sense that part of Russia began to be considered a European region even though it physically is a part of Asia.  It is better to talk about the entire land mass of Eurasia rather than two split continents when talking about Russia's borders.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2:26 PM

If Europe and Asia are not different continents based on the tectonic plates that they both share, would that mean that Russia is in a fact a part of Europe. Wouldn't its ties be closely link to that of Asia, because growing up in school, I was taught that Russia was closely related to the Asian continent than it was to Europe. Though Russia is sometimes perceived as being its own continent, I wonder what this discovery will mean for them long term.

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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video makes a good point about where we arbitrarily draw lines on a map.  He uses different groupings to show how silly this can be.  His point is that Eastern Europe no longer really exists and we should no longer use the term.  He then suggests a few different terms to use to group countries in Europe.  My favorite was the grouping called Scared of Russia.

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 9:11 PM

The label Eastern Europe can be damaging in the sense that the negative conotation that accompanies the label is no longer true.  For example, Poland is taught in schools as part of Europe.  Not eastern, not western. Europe.  Geographically if we are talking about east vs. west, it is in the Eastern part of Europe. The countries in that location however, are torn and encompass a great variety of ideals.  SOme wish to remain tied to Russia and depend on Russia.  Some are westernized and want nothing to do with Russia.  And then there are the countries that are stuck between a rock and a hard place of two super powers with totally different schools of thought and practice.

 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 4:00 PM

Even though the Iron Curtain has long fallen, the practice of still describing the ex-Soviet countries as "Eastern Europe" still remains, and those same countries wish to change it. No longer are these countries part of the Soviet Block, and they feel that this characterization still defines them in this way. "Eastern Europe" denotes struggling economies, unhappy populations, marginalized lands, and an overall lack of development. While some countries are still recovering from Soviet rule, others have become important world powers with powerful economies. They no longer wish to be associated with Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 7:58 PM

The old way of lumping all Countries east of Germany as simply "Eastern European" is not only wrong but can lead to negativity and conflict. These are nations which differ greatly in terms of language, ethnicity, and political affiliation should definitely not be lumped together within one identity. The fact is the Cold War has ended and instead of holding on to these out dated terms we should instead look forward and embrace these countries for what they are, unique countries with unique things to offer.

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Iconic Landscapes

Iconic Landscapes | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Time lapse video compilation Civilization: Part I - Europe by professional photographer Dominic Boudreault. Shot in England, France, Spain and Italy.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I found this very stirring.  To see the old and new buildings side by side makes one think about what came before and how the past influences the future.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 12:06 PM

An amazing view of some of the cities of Europe.  As a person who loves history to see these modern cities built around the old civiliztions of Europe is amazing.  For me it is Rome.  To see the runis of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the modern Rome is just amazing.  Even more amazing is how some of the buildings built by the Romans are still standing, and in use, when modern techniques do not seem to last long at all.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 5:11 PM

Europe is such a beautiful place where its landscapes, architecture, and waterways have shaped its future. This video shows the beauty of the towns and how everything in is has remembrances of the past. This video is a definite must see!

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 6:03 PM

This video of iconic landscapes displays beautiful and historic architecture throughout Europe. This video allows the viewer to see these great areas of Europe. I have a great deal of respect for those who built things such as the Colosseum in Rome years ago, as it is amazing that some of these historic buildings are still standing today. 

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Exclaves and Sovereignty

Exclaves and Sovereignty | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Prime Minister David Cameron is 'seriously concerned' about the escalation of tensions on the border between Spain and the British territory of Gibraltar."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I was unaware that the UK owned this part of Gibraltar.  It seems like a throwback to the UK’s naval policies of the past that they would still to control this point of entry into the Mediterranean.  It will be interesting to see how this will be resolved.  As it is a dispute between two countries that are both part of the EU. 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 6, 2013 8:30 AM

This video and article briefly show the reasons behind the current tension between Spain, NATO allies and fellow EU members.  The deeper, underlying issues though are all fundamentally rooted in the complex local political geography.  As an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea, there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. Spain, in what the chief Minister of Gibraltar calls "sabre-rattling," is flexing its muscles and considering using their border and airspace as a political leverage.  Spain is upset that Gibraltar has created an artificial reef in waters that their fishermen use.  Spanish fisherman have recently condemned the escalating political rhetoic.


Questions to Ponder: Why are both parties politically and culturally invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British suprantional connections impact this issue?


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, Spain, Europe, autonomy.

karenpinney's curator insight, August 12, 2013 5:13 AM

Relationships between Britain and Spain.

megan b clement's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:37 AM

"The video explains about Spain and Gibraltar and how they have feuded back and forth with one another and their borders for some time now. Gibraltar has made a articfical reef to mess with the Spainish fisherman and SPain has made travel to Gibraltar nearly impossible and dreadfully long for tourists. Spain understands how essential tourism is to their economy. Until they are able to come to an agreement thei matter is only going to intenisfy more and worsen."

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Rising Anti-Immigration Sentiment in the EU

Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video describes the increase in immigration into EU countries from other EU countries.  The EU agreements on free movement are being challenged in countries that feel rightly or wrongly that the immigrants coming in are a drain on their economies during this difficult economic time.  It is interesting to see how Europe deals with this immigration issue compared to how America deals with its immigration issues.

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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:53 AM

Like America, Western Europe is facing the troubles of immigration for jobs. COuntries in Europe, such as Eastern countries of Bulgaria and the P.I.G.S. are moving to core countries in search of work that the cannot find in their own land. The problem becomes a matter of the core country citizens not having jobs for themselves as their economy joins other in slowing down. Racial tensions are rising because of this. Ironically, the video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the sentiments are towards Muslim immigrants.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 10, 4:47 PM
(Europe post 8) Europe's immigration 'crisis' seems to echo many of the causes and effects currently being felt in the U.S.'s own situation. As jobs become scarcer, anti-immigrant sentiments start to gain ground. The introduction of new cultures can create a sense of cultural insecurity. Controversial laws are put into effect to try to gain some control on the situation. Though it does seem like an invasion to those already living there, keep in mind that the immigrants aren't trying to cause such things; rather, they are looking to regain lost ground for themselves. I know there is a wide divide on political views, but in the very least individuals and governments alike should keep an open mind (even if not an open door) to what outsiders are experiencing / what their driving force is.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 7:54 PM

While many talk about tensions regarding immigration they think of the American public's take an immigration while in actuality Europe is having the same problems and if anything tensions are higher than in the States. In Europe the Influx of immigrants primarily from Turkey and the Middle East have brought about a rise in both racial and religious tensions. In America we're somewhat used to cultural melding while in Europe many are used to cultural homogeneity and these foreigners are bringing with them the fear of cultural dilution and the loss of jobs.  

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Catalonia asks Spain for 9 Billion Euros

Catalonia asks Spain for 9 Billion Euros | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The independence-minded region of Catalonia asks the Spanish central government for an extra 9bn euros (£7.7bn) in bailout money.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This area seems to want it both ways.  To be independent from Spain, but also dependent economically on Spain.  This region should sort out its priorities and decided if independents is worth it and if so then they should not be asking Spain for help.  It’s like a twenty-something person that moves out of their parents’ house and then comes back again and again with their hand out.  Catalonia seems to be facing this same issue.

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Dean Haakenson's curator insight, February 4, 2013 2:31 PM

Another peg in the collective EU coffin...

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:21 AM

This is sad news for an area that is trying to persuede the world it deserves to be independent. Unfortunately,  they still have to rely on the Spanish government to help their economy, something that does not help their case.  While other countries do take money from other powers, one that is trying to establish itself might want to have a more optimistic outlook on it's economy before it tries to go off on it's own.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 9:00 PM

Catalonia, an independent region wants Spain to give them 9 billion euros in order to help them stay out of debt, but also want to keep themselves independent of Spain. The most interesting aspect of this article is how the region of Catalonia wants to be independent, but still seek help from the very place it wants to be independent from.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs'

Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs' | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article shows that no matter how small the world is becoming nationalism is still present and will cause issues between different factions and supporters of different national identities.  The issue over what flag will be flown in a country can spark outrage and anger not by people against the flag but the people for it as they feel it should be flown all the time as opposed to a limited amount of days in the year.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 11, 2013 2:01 PM

Flags are tangible symbols of communal identity and political power.  If the meaning behind these identities are unresolved, the symbols of these identities in public spaces becomes all the more there is contentious.  Currently, the Union Jack is a lightning rod for controversy in Northern Ireland and the riots stemming from this are harming the local economy. 


Tags: Ireland, political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, economic, Europe, unit 4 political.